TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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A hint for living in Japan with a foreign name

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Things aren’t sorted just yet, but I may have figured out what the problem was with my application to register my drone. When I first registered it, it wouldn’t accept my Katakana name, but I didn’t realise that until I checked my spam folder and it told me so (always make a point of checking your spam folder! I even got a job from it once!).

So, I logged in again, but this time I changed the way I spelt my name in Katakana. Instead of using ティモシー、I used ティモシイ, and it was accepted.

For whatever reason Japan doesn’t want to get with the program in allowing different types of characters (they have to be full-length katakana or else they don’t work), which is a real pain if you have a name out of the norm. Sometimes they don’t even allow non Kanji names, and Rakuten Travel has this thing of using Hiragana even for foreign names, which, to be honest is pretty funny. My name becomes てぃむ and it looks really cute.

Either way, bear in mind that if you have a non-Japanese name, things may not be that easy for you when it comes to filling out forms online!

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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